Founded in 1995, eBay’s original mission was to be an online marketplace that brought buyers and sellers together. While this core purpose remains the same over two decades later, the logistics of the buying and selling has evolved in many ways. Indeed, it can be tricky enough sometimes for current eBay sellers to keep up with changes in eBay policy and procedures. For this reason, people returning to eBay selling after a long break may feel a little lost. Here are some fundamental changes that returning eBay sellers should be aware of.
Feedback and Seller Performance Standards
For sellers who haven’t been on eBay for a very long absence, the change in Feedback procedure will probably be the most surprising.
- Sellers can only leave buyers positive Feedback or no Feedback at all. Buyers can still leave sellers negative, neutral and positive Feedback.
- To meet eBay’s minimum selling standards, sellers can only have a maximum of 2% of transactions with one or more defects over the most recent evaluation period. Defects are caused by transactions cancelled by the seller or disputed cases closed without seller resolution.
Certain updates to eBay return policies were something of a game changer when they were implemented, for both buyers and sellers.
- eBay’s Money Back Guarantee is automatically included with almost every item sold on eBay.com. Buyers are able to report items as not received or ‘Significantly Not As Described’ for up to 30 days after purchase. Sellers must assist buyers to their satisfaction (full/partial refund or replacement item) or risk transaction defects, forced reimbursement and loss of Final Value Fees.
- PayPal’s Purchase Protection allows buyers to open a dispute up to 180 days after they buy the item if the item was described incorrectly or was damage during shipping.
Never a popular topic for eBay sellers, transaction fees have increased over the years.
- Final Value Fees (FVF) are now charged on shipping costs as well as the item selling price.
- On eBay.com, buyers must pay within 48 hours of the item selling or the seller can open an unpaid item case. If the buyer still does not pay, the seller can get a credit for their Final Value Fees. Sellers can receive Final Value Fee credits in a few other different selling scenarios too.
While scams were undoubtedly present during the early days of eBay, they were far less prevalent than the current day.
- Returning sellers should be wary of common scams such as fake Paypal payment notifications, address change requests and buyers asking to purchase items outside of eBay.
- Sales of electronics are the most vulnerable to fraudsters, especially smartphones. Always record serial numbers of electronics before shipping.
Over half of all eBay transactions now involve a mobile device, with this number set to increase. The use of smartphones for shopping has a couple of notable impacts on eBay selling.
- There is an eBay app for both Android and iOS. The app enables sellers to create and manage listings wherever they are. Uploading photos straight from the smartphone camera can be helpful plus notifications act as a good reminder to ship items on time.
- Listings should be optimised for mobile devices to attract more shoppers. Features such as simple layouts, shorter descriptions, close-cropped photos make shopping easier for mobile users. eBay even has a Mobile Friendly Test to double check listings.
Other quick tips for returning eBay sellers
- The Global Shipping Program is eBay’s delivery program that claims to simplify the process of shipping to international buyers. It’s a controversial scheme with some advantages but a number of notable flaws.
- Top Rated Seller status is given to eBay sellers who achieve over 100 sales with consistent shipment tracking, low transaction defects and a minimum of late shipments. Top Rated Sellers who provide fast shipping and a flexible return policy are able to use Top Rated Plus listings which have a 20% Final Value Fee discount.
- eBay’s search engine, Cassini, works on a unique algorithm that is favourable to listings that offer relevance, value, trust and convenience to the buyer. Sellers can manipulate their listings and customer service to help suit the criteria better and rank higher up on search results.
- Sellers can print shipping labels via eBay, no specialist equipment needed. This is a major time saver for many eBay sellers.
- Seller Hub is eBay’s new interface to help improve selling. It consolidates previously popular selling tools and also offers insights into performance and growth.
What other changes to eBay should returning sellers know about? Share below.